Seizure of laptops for blogging–fax to presiding (head) judge Timothy Evans

Judge Timothy Evans
Circuit Court Cook County

Fax: 312-603-5366
From:                      Admitted Ill., N.  Carolina and Patent Bars
JoAnne M. Denison,     Pat. Atty.  Reg.  No.  34,150
DENISON & ASSOCS., PC    FAX 312-553-1307
1512 N Fremont St, #202    CELL PH 773-255-7608
CHICAGO, IL 60642    PHONE 312-553-1300 or
Federal Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

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Pages in fax, including this coversheet – (   )
June 2, 2012

Re: Seizure of attorney laptops in Probate court

Dear Judge Evans;

It has come to my attention that there is a pressing crisis in your courtrooms and namely, that is the taking of laptops by court room personnel whenever it appears that someone is concerned about the proceeding in a courtroom.

This has happened to me twice.  And twice I told the bailiff that I was only taking notes and she told me that I might be “recording” and that is prohibited.

I went to the chief judge of Probate and she said that it does not matter that I was helping a client and was blogging, that it is security that determines the rules regarding laptops and security has determined there might be recording.


Has no one been on ebay and seen that for $10 you can get a pen that records all day? Or a coke can or a number of innoculous devices that do this.  Everyone knows that security is brain cell challenged, but…..

However, the most pressing issue is the right to free and fair court rooms and in this manner, I believe the Chicago area is sorely lacking and no one trusts the courts or politicians any longer because were were recently voted the most corrupt region by a clear margin of 2 to  1!

Two to one!   One would think that an atty taking notes in a courtroom that is or maybe clearly biased would be applauded, but think again.

In this case the courtrooms are replete with attorneys and the public that text and email on cell phones all day long.  But it was only when Attorney Stern noted during a Dec. 21, 2012 hearing that I might be blogging that my laptop was actually confiscated by a court room bailiff and waived about as if it were a flag or something.

I had to actually tell the bailiff that when you waive around a laptop, it has a tiny pointing device that actually destroys sectors on a hard drive and to stop doing that or the laptop will be ruined.

Why are court room personnel confiscating laptops of attorneys when they clearly have no training to do so.  And further, it is an affront to myself and my clients because my laptops have all of my client communications going back to 1992.

Also, no one in the court considered the possibility that some of the documents on my laptop were subject to Protective Orders in Federal District courts and other federal tribunals.  Under those orders, once a 3rd party not subject to the Protective Order comes in possession of confidential documents inadvertent retention and disclosure is always of paramount concern, and yet I saw none of that in the court room that day.  Same for cell phones which can literally contain thousands of PDF documents.  If seizure of computerized note taking processing devices is to be the norm, who is securing the client and business data to protect US citizens and corporations.

And my profession is a patent attorney, so what about patent documents that have been deemed secret by the US government.  What of those?  No one seems to ask or be concerned.

Are they responsible if a crooked bailiff scams my hard drive in seconds?

I don’t understand where all this is coming from.

Court rooms are supposed to be public.  It is in everyone’s best interest we no longer have secret tribunals that let the courts do as they please.

Attorney documents and confidential client data and information should be inviolate.  The public should not have to fear providing their attorney with all the information she needs to protect her and promote the interests of her person and business.s

First amendment rights to free speech and the press reporting on the activities of a courtroom are supposed to be afforded the highest priority–a priority that even extends to fundamentalist Christian protestors at funerals of soldiers  that demand there is punishment coming from the heavens above for letting gays in the military.

But I can’t take laptop notes in a courtroom.  While others are busily texting and emailing away willy nilly.  Probably half the public and attys in a court room do this all day long.

Maybe no one likes blogs.  They report what we all don’t want to hear–the courts are twisted and corrupt.

But then again, if you want to easily clean up your courts so you gain impunity, you should be thanking attys like myself that show up to hearings, blog and publish so miscreants know they are being watched.

Please reverse this ruling and publish it in every courtroom.  Attys and the public that are taking notes need to do so.  The bailiffs can be trained in programs that record on every device from cell phones to pens to laptops and they should literally stop the court proceedings, popup the task manager and check those programs for recording.

If the program does not record, what is the problem?


JoAnne Denison

PS–it seems to me there is great liability out there for liability for refusing to let attys take notes on cases where the court or the attorneys might be corrupt.  Do you want to start taking a list of these?  I already have two corrupt cases for you already.

Very Truly Yours,


JoAnne Denison

JoAnne M. Denison


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